Evaluating microwave-synthesized silver nanoparticles from silver nitrate with life cycle assessment techniques.

Author(s) Bafana, A.; Kumar, S.V.; Temizel-Sekeryan, S.; Dahoumane, S.Amar; Haselbach, L.; Jeffryes, C.S.
Journal Sci Total Environ
Date Published 2018 Sep 15

Silver Nanoparticles (AgNPs) are well known for applications in electronics and as antimicrobial agents because of their unique optical, electrical, cytotoxic and thermal properties. These nanoparticles can be synthesized via a wide variety of techniques; however, they require the use of hazardous solvents which have very high environmental impacts. Nanoscience researchers have attempted novel synthesis routes that reduce resource requirements and use benign chemicals, while maintaining control over their unique properties. The present study evaluates the potential environmental impacts of one such benign method using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) techniques which are used to assess the environmental impacts of a product's life through all the stages from raw material extraction to disposal/ recycling. This research evaluates AgNPs which were synthesized using glucose as the reducing agent and food grade corn starch as the stabilizing agent in a microwave-assisted reaction system. GaBi 6.0 software was used to carry out the Life Cycle Impact Assessment on a declared unit of 1 kg of 3.0 ± 1.2 nm diameter AgNPs. The results indicate that the impacts are predominantly on acidification (AP), human health particulate air (HHAP) and human toxicity non-cancer (HTNCP) potentials. These impacts are mainly from the production of silver metal and electricity used. The starch and glucose used to produce AgNPs of 3.0 ± 1.2 nm is shown to have negligible environmental impacts and is therefore considered to be environmentally benign.

DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.345
ISSN 1879-1026
Citation Sci Total Environ. 2018;636:936943.

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